John Merrick's Remains - Light & Dark (album)
JMR return with a new instalment of creative electro full of ingenious lyrics & cleverly produced sounds & backdrops. A mix of emotions reflecting on the light side of life & soon twisting into the dark. Prepare to be torn between the two & never know what you’ll find on the other side…1. Slenderman:
Dramatic; atmospheric & absorbing opening track full of sinister backdrops filled to the brim with electro bass lines & layered synths & crushing drum sequences melded together with strained but eloquently delivered vocals. Guitars roll into the distance adding a further element & depth to this evolving JMR sound.
Tense & fragile this track delivers a haunting lyric draped within a cacophony of heavy bass, screeching keyboards & eerie sounds. Vocals delivered passionately; laced with pain & emotion.
3. We Are So Fragile::
Gary Numan cover tackled with a typical JMR turbulent twist. Classy & stylish approach with cleverly programmed drum patterns & superb synth arrangements. Vocals delivered with precision & focus; great cover. Nothing fragile about this version.
4. Meaningless Life:
Stripped down track ensuring the focus is on the vocal delivery & lyrical content. Emotional trip creating depressing images that lasts long after the final chord. Crying out for a full-on industrial remix!
5. Light & Dark:
Visual & melodic track show-casing the vocal abilities of JMR; atmospheric & ethereal; a real treat & stand-out track on the album. Acoustic guitars, simple keyboards; no tricks here; this is raw & emotional – stunning!
6. Mad Max:
Aggressive & fast; JMR on Speed. Drum sequences; dry-ice; lights; screeching keyboards; bass-lines punching; chaotic rhythms; layers of sound; orchestral…it’s all here! Love it!
7. Mr Bad Guy:
Layered synths with a lighter melody & brighter happy emotional feel. Only JMR can sing a depressing song about Mr Bad Guy & make it sound happy!! Tongue-in-cheek approach – so very JMR!! Perfect!
8. When I See You:
Angry vocal delivered with just the right amount of sneer. Guitars blend effortlessly with the drums & synths creating a fuller sound & atmospheric background scene. Danceable track that would also work well completely stripped down. This track has a multitude of remix options. Favourite track on the album!
Piano adds a dark & twisted feel with a haunting & strained vocal to boot. Deliciously dark track that is both atmospheric & tense. Full of swirling images & gothic dreams. Lyrically torturing & beautifully delivered. Outstanding!
10. The End:
…through the storm clouds do you see more dark clouds or do you see a blue sky appearing?...
[Review written by Hooded Stranger (Systema Synthetica)]
John Merrick's Remains - Dark City (ep)1. Dark City:
JMR unleash a raw & gritty sound to open their EP. Guitars & pounding bass drives the track forward taking no prisoners as the freight train grinds, screeches & hurtles full-speed through the night. Short & punchy with expected dulcet tones desperately trying to catch up with the momentum.
Hauntingly atmospheric synthesised track drifting effortlessly along with perfectly strained vocals adding depth & fear to the overall feel of the track. Simple chorus cleverly crafted to bring balance to the disorder. JMR at their chaotic best.
3. The City Sleeps:
Amazing awkward beat structure adds a complex feel to this rather exquisite track. Lyrically stunning; vocally raw & passionate backed with a pulsating bass drum that reverberates deep inside your head.
4. Dark Angel 2:
A slower paced track delivered with an emotional vocal. Lyrics wrapped around a lush synth melody. Sombre song drenched in sadness & agonising pain…beautifully tragic; deliciously dark.
5. Dark Angel 2 [Underworld Mix]:
Dark; twisted upside-down & with a little nitro added just because. Still tragic & dark but now angry & more intense. Synths & drum sequences manipulated into a frenzy that gives sadness a slight smirk!
[Review written by Hooded Stranger (Systema Synthetica)]
REVIEW: John Merrick’s Remains at the Vintage Rock Bar, 30th December 2011
Local duo John Merrick’s Remains can be summed up by the phrase ‘weird and wonderful’. Two thirds electro-rockers and one third gothic cinema experience...they don't do gigs, they do performances. Dressed in masks and black (mostly leather) garb they are totally immersed in their sound which is hard to pin down, but if you baked Marilyn Manson in an oven turned to maximum Numan, with a pinch of Bauhaus and a dash of Soft Cell, the result would be a black iced, metal studded JMR cake. Tonight they are playing in the Vintage Rock Bar in Doncaster, which is like a dungeon and just adds to the whole audio/visual experience. Here is my condensed review of the gig...erm...I mean performance:
As the saw-tooth waves pulsates in opener ‘Breath’ it’s apparent that JMR are on fine form and encouraged by a decent crowd singer Joolz breaks down the barriers between band and audience by stepping over the monitors and singing amongst the gathered throng. His voice is finely balanced somewhere between Neil Diamond and Dave Vanian of the Damned; this may sound wrong but in the context of the music it works pretty well. New song ‘Open the Box’ written in collaboration with Doncaster band Spekulus takes them down a more gore-metal route with sharp guitars adding an extra dimension to their synth-noise. Bob on keys frantically nods his head to every bass beat and hits notes as if his life depended on it. 'Hollow Man' and 'Dear John' from their second album are the standout tracks of the evening and show the extremes of their sound, which can swing from synth-pop to vintage punk and everything in-between. As the band burst into JMR classic ‘Leatherface’ all hands are raised and shake in unison to the rhythm of the chorus vocal. It’s has a super addictive melody but the chainsaw and scream samples which appear in the musical breaks are sure to give me nightmares...I’m going home to check under my bed and sleep with the light on.
JMR and Spekulus will be playing at the Hallcross in Doncaster on Saturday 18th February 2012 to promote the Lament Configuration EP which features both bands.
John Merrick’s Remains can be followed on facebook or www.johnmerricksremains.co.uk.
John Merrick's Remains - Angel Of The Night